A HERMIT IN THE HIMALAYAS
The material frame of this universe must one day dissolve, and
our bodies with it, yet we shall remain.
But sufficient unto the day is the writing thereof!
It might do some men, including myself, good to model them-
selves after these skyward-soaring rocky heights, to find their
stability, their fixity, their strength. Do not these mountains rise in
symbolic significance as a lesson to weak mortals?
Lately, my excursions into stillness have led to a distinct sense of
closer touch with my surroundings. In the poet Shelley's phrase, I
feel "made one with Nature". When I sit on my cliff-edge with
untimed patience, letting the beauty and serenity of my surround-
ings seep into my being, I begin to feel that I, too, have become a
part of the quiet landscape. I am absorbing into my nature the still-
ness of Himalaya. My body seems to grow up out of the brown
stony earth much as some small tree might have grown up. I squat
on the ground rooted like the deodar tree before me. The life which
throbs through my veins seems to be the same life" which runs in the
sap of the plant world around me. Even the solid mountain itself is
no longer a mere mass of hard crystalline rock and thin patchy soil,
but a living growth obeying directive laws no less than my fleshly
body obeys them.
And as this unifying spirit penetrates me more and more, a
benign sense of well-being appears to be one result. I and all these
friendly trees, this kindly earth, those white glistening peaks which
rim die horizon, are bound up into one living organism and the
whole is definitely good at its heart. The universe is not dead but
alive, not maleficent but benevolent, not an empty shell but the
gigantic body of a Great Mind. I feel sorry for those materialists who,
quite honestly but upon limited data, rind Death to be the king of
the world and the Devil to dwell at the heart of things. Could they
but still their over-active brains and align themselves with Nature's
panoramic personality, they would discover how wrong they are.
Nevertheless, with the latest findings of advanced scientists in
our hands, only dullards and doctrinaires can support the theses of
The mysterious manner in which this growing sense of unity
commingles with a sense of utter goodness is worth noting. It arises
by no effort of mine; rather does it-come to me out of I know not
where. Harmony appears gradually and flows through my whole
being like music. An infinite tenderness takes possession of me,
smoothing away the harsh cynicism which a reiterated experience of